As told by Scott Choate
Having just turned 30, I recently took it upon myself to start looking after my health more. Overall, I feel like I have the basics down - eating the right food, getting enough sleep and rest, and going to the gym a few times a week. However, sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. Between a job that requires me to travel a lot, an ever-busy schedule, and having kids that are growing up, I started researching for ways to get a little extra boost. Mainly, I was looking for more energy and better overall health.
After coming across the usual (yoga, meditation, prepared meals, etc…), most of which I already do, I stumbled across wellness shots. I’ve heard about them in the past and knew they probably offered some general health benefits but I never really dug into it further until recently. For a variety of reasons, they stood out to me as an appealing alternative to vitamins. They are usually customizable to one’s tastes and needs, delivered on a schedule, and can be taken on-the-go or at home.
So that’s when I started looking into various brands that offered them (or something similar), trying to figure out exactly what made them different and which one would be best for me. One of the biggest things for me was finding something that would be quick and easy to drink, whether I was at home or out and about. Most importantly, something that would be beneficial for the long term and not just a quick-fix (looking at you, energy drinks).
After researching a few different brands, two that stood out to me were BuddyNutrition and CareOf. They each offer something similar to what I was looking for (BuddyNutrition has wellness shots and CareOf has quick sticks). I decided to go on a test run with both to see which one would better fit my needs and taste.
First, I went through and assessed the various options from CareOf. Their choices were varied, including vitamin packs, protein powders, and quick sticks. I decided I didn’t need any more protein powder; and I wasn’t looking for just another multivitamin to add to my regimen. So that left me with the option to try their quick sticks, which are small sticks of powder that can be taken with or without water. After deciding that quick sticks would be the way to go, I started upon the journey of finding out which one was for me.
It began with a survey. It was mostly asking me questions like what my diet was like, what my general lifestyle choices were, and how my overall health was. It seemed like the goal was to determine which ingredients or stick would be right for me. After around 37 questions (it was a little tedious), I finally got to the end where I could see my recommendations.
I wasn’t too impressed with the results - as I have to say, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. I was presented with two different options; one of which was a vitamin pack and the other, a quick stick. I had already decided against the vitamin pack, but just to clarify anyways, it offered a few different pills to take - like magnesium, vitamin D (for living above 37° latitude), and B-complex. The biggest reason for not going with the vitamin pack is that I’m already taking a single multivitamin and by breaking this down into different ones, it seems like I would be making things more difficult. And on top of it, I didn’t want to pay more for the same thing.
However, I was still interested in their quick sticks. I did a little more research and noticed that they offered five different types of quick sticks, each one with a different purpose. They were for supporting immunity, sleep, energy, digestion, and stress. I decided that I wanted to go with both the stress and the sleep options. However, when I got there, I noticed there wasn’t any way to customize flavors. For example, the stress reducing quick stick was always going to be lemonade flavored (and ever since I was a kid I couldn’t stand lemonade), while the sleep quick stick was mixed berry flavored. I do enjoy mixed berry so I ended up going with just the sleep quick stick.
While I was originally looking for wellness shots based off of my research, I was willing to settle for alternatives - like the quick stick. They advocated that the quick stick could be taken with or without water. So while the wellness shots were already made and ready to go, in a way, so were the quick sticks. With that in mind, I still planned to mix them with a cup of water since the idea of eating the powder wasn’t too appealing. With the quick stick, you need to mix it in water in order to drink it.
The biggest problem with this though is that I usually carry a water bottle with me throughout the day and the idea of having to clean it out or else have the residue left in there wasn’t too appealing. I would need a disposable water bottle or cup in order to have my quick stick when I’m not at home, and that was problematic because I don’t buy the regular plastic water bottles that come in the 24-packs. So the option was to either end up with having to clean out my water bottle after using the quick stick or to bring a cup and mixer with me everyday - which wouldn’t be ideal either.
So let me reiterate that the main reason for me going into this is that I have an extremely busy life, can’t always get my fruits and vegetables in, and I wanted to make sure that I’m still maintaining a healthy diet even on my busiest of days. The quick stick wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but I was willing to give it a try, as I think it would still be an upgrade over nothing. So I ordered 5 from CareOf and then started my journey on Buddy Nutrition, to see what kind of wellness shots they offered and if it would be different from the quick sticks.
I did notice with Buddy Nutrition, that their idea of a wellness shot was more in line with what I was thinking. The picture on their homepage showed as much - an actual on-the-go drink that you can have wherever. It looked like the all-in-one solution that I was looking for so I continued on digging a little bit deeper. I noticed that Buddy Nutrition also had a survey to get started, although this one seemed a bit shorter and more to the point.
The survey started off with similar questions, asking me about my age, weight, nutrition goals, what kind of problems I was having if any (eg. stress, headaches, etc), and so forth. What I liked here is that they actually asked what flavors I was interested in trying first - so I chose their berry-berry banana to start. I went through the rest of the questions in just a couple of minutes and I ended up on the final page, which was a “pouch recommendation”.
On this final “pouch recommendation” page, all of the ingredients and vitamins are listed right there - as well as giving me the option to edit them as needed. That meant if I didn’t like a certain flavor or didn’t need a certain vitamin, I could remove it at will. Most of it looked good, although I did take advantage of the edit feature to remove caffeine - as I mostly try to avoid it except for special circumstances. A different flavor also caught my eye, tropical mango + pineapple, which I changed over to from the berry-berry banana. I reviewed my entire order again from the ingredients to the flavor, after which I was ready to order my new personalized wellness shot.
I received both the quick sticks and the wellness shot and decided to do an initial test for about a week. In the end, while the quick sticks were enough to suffice, the wellness shot from Buddy Nutrition ended up being much more in line with what I was looking for when I began researching. Here’s why I’m sticking with the wellness shot from Buddy Nutrition rather than going with the quick sticks from CareOf.
First and foremost, the biggest reason is the end product. BuddyNutrition offered exactly what I was looking for - a wellness shot. I don’t want to have to mix a powder with something else when I am out and about, as that means bringing disposable water bottles or having to clean out my own. Having an all-in-one shot ready to go is as simple as it gets, which is key for my busy life. I’m willing to pay a little extra for exactly what I want rather than compromise and get something less. And while you don’t actually need water to consume the quick sticks, it definitely helps.
Another reason is that I felt that the Buddy Nutrition wellness shot was just more comprehensive than CareOf. If I want the same amount of vitamins and options with CareOf, I will need to purchase multiple quick sticks - and that can add up the price faster while detracting from convenience. I’d rather have it be an all-in-one solution rather than having to mix and match different quick sticks.
And then it came down to flavor and customization. While I’d probably enjoy the “immunity” based quick stick from CareOf, which is red berry flavored, their “chill factor” for destressing is always going to be lemonade. And that ultimately means I won’t be able to enjoy it, so I can’t reap the benefits from it. With that said, while flavor is just a small factor of the equation for me personally, it still matters and I don’t want to dread my daily wellness shot due to a flavor I can’t stand.
Lastly, I do feel like I am getting a little extra with the Buddy Nutrition wellness shot. There were two things that really stood out when I was ordering, which were nootropics and adaptogens. Nootropics are listed as being able to help support cognitive function, memory, and mental focus. With how busy my schedule can get, this was a standout factor for me. Adaptogens are noted as helping people adapt with physically and emotionally stressful situations - perfect!
So that’s ultimately why I ended up sticking with the wellness shots from Buddy. Between the ease of use while being on-the-go, the different customization options available, and it being an entire wellness shot rather than a powder stick ended up just being much more appealing to me. I think for a lot of people, the quick sticks are probably better than nothing - especially if you aren’t regularly taking a vitamin.
But if you’re like me - you already take a vitamin, you don’t like the idea of having to mix it (or take it in powdered form), and you want more flavors - then the quick sticks just aren’t enough to suffice.
Written by: Scott Choate